CIS DPC: Battle for the wild card

By Jack VioletFebruary 16, 2021
As the first season of the CIS Upper Division comes to a close (only two weeks remain), most teams find themselves in a struggle to claim the third-place wild card spot. The top two spots have already been claimed by Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere as each team has yet to drop a series, sitting comfortably at 5-0. The DPC has scheduled the most anticipated matches to be the last of the season, so we almost certainly see a deciding match played for first place between the two. However, the rest of the league’s placements are not as clear-cut.

Four-way wild card tie

Third place in the CIS Upper Division secures the Major wild card slot, where they will face off against two European teams, two Chinese teams, and one Southeast Asian team to secure a group stage spot. Currently, there is a four-way tie as four teams sit at a 2-3 record: AS Monaco Gambit, Team Spirit, EXTREMUM, and Team Unique.
AS Monaco Gambit, who recently picked up the roster of Live to Win, is the favorite of these teams to obtain the slot. With their new addition of Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko to their roster, they looked strong in their series with Na’Vi, bringing it to a close third game. They must defeat EXTREMUM and Unique to secure third.
Of these teams, Spirit has the toughest schedule as they are the only team that has not played Na’Vi yet. If they are able to upset Na’Vi, they’ll almost certainly be able to force tiebreakers. They have been the only team to take a game off of the previous 8-0 VP, so if they can bring back that energy, they could force an upset.
EXTREMUM and Unique are the weaker of the four, though EXTREMUM had taken a game off Na’Vi previously, and Unique is fresh off of a two-series win streak. Though not likely, there is some potential for them to cause upsets.

Fighting for their lives

The bottom two teams at the end of the season will be relegated to the Lower Division. At the bottom of the group sit Team Empire and NoTechies, both with a record of 1-4. These two teams will face off against one another this week, and the loser will certainly face relegation. NoTechies also must play against VP, so they will almost definitely be relegated without a miracle. Empire on the other hand has a decent shot of staying in the division as their other series is against EXTREMUM and could force tiebreakers and maintain their spot in the Upper Division.
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